The Real Gerber Baby
The famous Gerber baby, the chubby-cheeked infant who has graced Gerber food products for nearly 8 decades, has been incorrectly identified time and again as a portrait of the infant Humphrey Bogart, classic film actor. His mother, Maud Humphrey Bogart, was a successful illustrator. She often used little Humphrey in her pictures, and once used his baby face to advertise Mellin’s baby food.
However, Humphrey Bogart was nearly thirty-years-old when Gerber began manufacturing baby food.
The real Gerber baby has a comics connection.
She’s Ann Cook (nee Turner), daughter of comic strip creator Leslie Turner, the man who wrote Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy for a whopping 27 years. The original baby sketch was by the artist Dorothy Hope Smith. She submitted the sketch and was paid $300 for it. It became the official Gerber trademark in 1931. Ann Cook was paid a cash settlement of $5,000 for the use of her image in 1951.
Cook became a mystery writer and lives in Florida.
Photo from Anne Turner Cook’s website.